LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - One of the biggest movie stars in the world suffered one of the biggest box-office flops of his career this weekend.
Even with Johnny Depp, the Hunter S. Thompson-themed “Rum Diary” couldn’t scrape up more than $5 million at 2,272 North American locations. Considering the movie had a budget of about $45 million, that’s a tough opening for the FilmDistrict release.
The movie was also poorly received by filmgoers who did pay to see it, garnering a soft “C” score in post-screening surveys conducted by Cinemascore.
Certainly Depp, who has driven Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise and its “Alice in Wonderland” to multi-billion-dollar heights, has had other disappointments.
Last year’s “The Tourist,” which also starred Angelina Jolie, grossed $67.3 million domestically and $278.3 million worldwide -- an impressive number, except the movie cost an estimated $100 million to make.
His 2009 film “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” opened to a shabby $1.6 million. It went on to gross $7.6 million domestically and $61.8 worldwide on a $30 million budget.
And his 2006 “The Libertine” fared far worse. It opened to $2.2 million and grossed $4.8 million in North America and $10.8 million worldwide. The film was shot on a modest budget of around $20 million.
And of course, Depp has played Thompson -- who he counted as a close personal friend -- before, in 1998’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” That movie was made for an estimated $18.4 million and grossed only $10.6 million domestically.
Going into the weekend, FilmDistrict had modest expectations for “Rum Diary.” The distributor figured that Depp’s appeal and Thompson’s cult status would help the movie gross between $9 million - $11 million.
Depp, of course, is a huge international star, and the movie has fared well in the few territories it has premiered in abroad, grossing $2.8 million in the Ukraine and Russia.
“The Rum Diary” also stars Aaron Eckhart, Amber Heard and Giovanni Ribisi. Bruce Robinson wrote and directed and Depp co-produced.